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Welcome to the May edition of the Hills Update e-Newsletter. Please click on the following links to view the related articles:

Volunteer Expo

Why not volunteer?

Helping HandsCouncil is hosting a Volunteer Expo on Saturday 16 May 2009, at the Rouse Hill Town Centre, Town Square from 10am to 4pm, in celebration of National Volunteer Week (11 – 17 May 2009).

Council often receives enquiries from residents who want to volunteer in some capacity but don’t know how or where to go.  The Volunteer Expo is an excellent opportunity for members of the community to learn more about volunteering opportunities in The Hills Shire and will assist not-for-profit organisations in their volunteer recruitment drive. 

Over 20 not-for-profit organisations and Council departments will be available to provide information and answer questions on volunteering.

Volunteering is also a great opportunity to develop your skills, meet new people and learn more about your community. This Volunteer Week, visit our expo and see how simple it is to volunteer and make a difference.

The Hills Shire Council has a number of volunteering opportunities available including: 

  • Tourism – Activities include manning the Visitor’s Centre, conducting guided tours of the historic Roughley House, tours and event organisation such as Jazz at the Pines. A new Visitors Centre will be established soon at Mungerie House, Rouse Hill – Council is currently recruiting for new volunteers.
  • Community Environment Centre – Volunteers can assist with creative arts projects, presentations and workshops on living sustainably, gardening days, library management and bird monitoring.
  • Aged and Disability Services – Assist with important services to the aged and people with a disability including, meals on wheels, easy care gardening, respite care and community transport. 
  • Emergency Services – The Rural Fire Service welcomes the assistance of people with all kinds of skills including administration, catering, firefighting, mechanical and secretarial work.
  • Bushcare - Bushcare is a community based volunteer program run by Council to improve the Shire’s bushland. It involves the removal of exotic and noxious plants from native bush to enable the bush to return to its natural state.
  • Business Mentoring - Any person that has been in business or in management positions in corporations, with a range of experience and/or qualifications to be able to assist and guide other small business owners.
  • Other – Parks, festivals and events, heritage opportunities.  

For more information contact Council’s Volunteer Development Coordinator, Lynne Ali, on 9843 0516 or visit the Volunteers section of Council's website to register your interest in volunteering.

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Community Environment Centre to be transformed

Environment CentreCouncil has successfully obtained grants from the NSW Climate Change Fund for environmental initiatives in the Shire.

The $49,650 funding for the Community Environment Centre – Sustainable Home Demonstration Site Project will see the Community Environment Centre at Annangrove Park transformed from an inefficient old building to a demonstration of sustainable living at home.

The renovated centre will include examples of solar passive design, solar panels and solar hot water, water saving and energy saving initiatives. It is anticipated that the renovations will be completed by June 2009.

The funds provided through the Department of Environment and Climate Change are enabling Council to implement and demonstrate current best practice in sustainability.

The 2009 Community Environment Centre workshop schedule has been announced and can be viewed on Council's website by clicking on the following link Living Sustainably Workshop Series.

Coming up -

Thursday 28 May – Biodiversity Surveying

Ever wondered what an antechinus is? What does a microbat look like? What are scats? Learn about survey techniques and have your questions answered at this informative talk. Discover some of the unusual and threatened animal species that share your local environment. This workshop will be held between 6pm and 7.30pm.  Refreshments provided.

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Castle Hill Ring Road - Opening to Traffic

Map SnapshotCastle Hill Ring Road set to open to traffic

Getting around Castle Hill will be easier and more convenient when the Castle Hill Ring Road is complete.  The current road works along Old Northern Road, Terminus Street and Cecil Avenue are nearing completion and are scheduled to be fully open to four lanes of through traffic on 23 May 2009 (weather permitting).

Although most works will be completed prior to the opening on 23 May, some final landscaping and connection works on Old Northern Road will continue into June 2009. This will include the final layer of asphalt and line markings to complete the road surfacing. In order to maintain traffic flow to Roads and Traffic Authority requirements, this work is scheduled to be carried out at night from 1 June through to 8 June. Council apologises in advance for any inconvenience, and noise will be kept to a minimum in accordance with the environmental guidelines.

Once open, the Eastern Ring Road along Terminus Street and Cecil Avenue will operate in unison with the Western Ring Road along McMullen Avenue and Pennant Street, ensuring a smoother way to travel around the town centre.

How will the new road system work?

Around 60,000 vehicles are expected to use the ring road system each day as a way to bypass the Castle Hill Town Centre and also to access local shops and businesses. Traffic lights will be re-phased to give priority to traffic bypassing around the town centre.

At the same time, vehicles wishing to enter the town centre to park and shop and then re-enter the bypass roads will be able to do so more conveniently, with dedicated turning lanes provided at each intersection.

Map of the new ring road system

A detailed map which describes the major changes to traffic flows as a result of the opening of the Castle Hill Ring Road works is available for download by clicking on the following link  Castle Hill Ring Road Guide (628.01kB).

New traffic changes

Three major changes will occur as soon as the new road is open:

  1. Closure of Old Northern Road from Crane Road to Terminus Street to through traffic (except buses or vehicles accessing existing commercial properties)
  2. Conversion of Crane Road to two-way traffic flow; and 
  3. Encouraging through traffic to use the more efficient route of the Castle Hill Ring Road as a bypass to the town centre, rather than using Old Northern Road between Showground Road and Crane Road.

Thank you

Council appreciates your patience throughout the construction of the Eastern Ring Road - especially those with businesses or homes along or near the road works.

In addition, Council gratefully acknowledges the valuable contribution made by those on the Castle Hill Ring Road Community Liaison Group who met regularly with Council to discuss the project throughout the works period.

Each person’s and each organisation’s co-operation has ensured the success of this project.

If you have any enquiries, call John Harrison on 9843 0206 or email jharrison@thehills.nsw.gov.au. Or for more information visit the Castle Hill Ring Road section of Council's website. 

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Council's Child Care Services

Child CareDid you know that Council has six child care centres located throughout The Hills?

These include Balcombe Heights, Eurambie Park, Castle Glen, Excelsior, Ellerman Park and North Rocks child care centres.  

Council’s Ellerman Park Child Care Centre at Round Corner is currently enrolling.  An excellent choice for parents in The Hills Shire who are looking for quality child care, the Centre offers quality outdoor play areas and children’s programs that are fun, interactive and child focussed.

Ellerman is a not-for-profit service catering for children aged from six weeks to five years, with experienced, dedicated and highly trained staff.  It also offers spacious indoor and outdoor areas including a vegetable garden, nutritious meals, drinks and snacks prepared by an onsite cook and a full school readiness program.

To make an appointment to visit the Centre, contact Lynette Chiles on 9651 3998.

Council's child care centres are all highly accredited by the National Childcare Accreditation Council. This accreditation allows families with children attending Council's child care centres to have access to the Federal Government’s Child Care Benefit Fee Relief and 50% Child Care Tax Rebate.

For more information about Council’s child care centres visit Council’s website at www.thehills.nsw.gov.au/Child-Care.html

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Men's Shed - Expressions of Interest

Mens ShedCouncil in partnership with the Rotary Club of Castle Hill is inviting all men interested in taking part in the soon the be established Castle Hill Men’s Shed to attend a Community Interest Meeting on Saturday 23 May, 2009 at 12noon, in the old scout hall at Eric Mobbs Reserve.

The Men's Shed will be located in the scout hall at Eric Mobbs Reserve and will provide a communal space for older men to grather, socialise and enjoy activities such as woodwork, metal work and restoration activities.

The aim of the project is to address the growing needs of our ageing population, as identified under Council's Positive Ageing Strategy.  The project will connect older men and provide them with the opportunity to contribute to their communities, learn new skills, share knowledge, make new friends and network.

The Community Interest Meeting is an opportunity to learn more about the project and even to volunteer to help renovate the building for use.

You need to register for catering purposes to Terry O’Mara on 9680 9901 or email terry.omara@bigpond.com

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Hills Building and Design Awards

Entries for the Hills Building and Design Awards are now open!

All builders and developers who have completed a local project recently are encouraged to apply. The awards were established in 1993 as a way for The Hills Shire Council to recognise builders and developers who achieve excellence in the industry.

The Hills Building and Design Awards provide an opportunity to reward excellence in this fast paced and competitive industry.

These awards are one of the highest profile events on Council’s calendar, attracting a diverse range of entries each year.

For an information pack and entry kit, phone 9680 8088 or email info@blazeevents.com.au

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Are we keeping you informed?  

Let us know what you think of Council's publications.

Are we keeping you informed?  Are we making Council information accessible?

Here at The Hills Shire Council we want to ensure that our community is kept informed.  Please take the time to complete a brief feedback survey.

Please click here to provide your feedback - Council's Communication Materials.

Your feedback is much appreciated.

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Looking for all the latest news and information from Council?

Visit the Media and News section of Council's website. 

This section is designed to provide journalists and residents with current information about Council's services and projects.

Looking for information hot off the press? This is the place to visit.

The Media and News section includes:

Council's Community Notices page - Appears in the local newspapers each week and items on exhibition, events, development proposals, DAs determined, DAs received, Council Meeting dates and other important Council Information.

Council News - A brief update of decisions from Council meetings.

Hills Focus - Electronic copies of Council's Hills Focus and Hills Update newsletters.

Mayoral Column - Published weekly in the local newspapers, a column from the Mayor of The Hills Shire, Councillor Larry Bolitho.

Media Releases - All the latest media releases from Council.

You can also sign up to the RSS Feed of Council's Media and News section - click on the following link to sign up - RSS Feeds - Feeding all the latest media and news from Council straight to your computer.

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Business visits available

Invest Sydney Hills LogoDo you know that the Hills is one of the fastest growing areas in Australia.

Are you aware that Council keeps track of new business opportunities as they emerge…..

Council has access to a considerable range of business information about the Sydney Hills that may be of interest to you in marketing your business.

The Hills Shire is experiencing rapid population growth that will continue over the next 20 years - bringing a further 100,000 residents and 47,000 jobs to the district. As part of our business development services, Council provides free research and local business information to companies who are considering moving or are currently located in the area.

We understand that as part of your daily business life, you may be able to benefit from access to local business information as part of your daily marketing and decision-making processes.

Council can offer the data for your use. The type of business information we have available includes:

  • marketing opportunities for new business leads;
  • local business statistics;
  • business demographic census information;
  • population and employment land forecasts;
  • development application activity;
  • socio-demographic characteristics; 
  • typical real estate costs;
  • labour market costs and availability;
  • commercial and industrial leasing and sales availability;
  • relocation and recruitment support.  

Please contact our Economic Development team at Council on 02 9843 0131 if we can assist your business.

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Library e-newsletter

Baby Bounce at the LibraryKeep up with all the latest news and happenings from your library by subscribing to the library’s e-newsletter.

The Connect Newsletter can tell you about new books; workshops and talks, and can keep you informed about local history programs and events. To receive this newsletter via email each quarter, simply click on the following link e-newsletter, fill in your details and select the E-Connect option.

Why not ‘Connect’ with your library today?



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What's on in The Hills

Saturday 16 May - Hills Cultural Festival
10.30am to 4pm
Rouse Hill Town Centre, Market Square, Windsor Road, Rouse Hill.

Jumping castles, rides for children, face painting, street acts, stage performances, drumming workshop and free activities for children.

Contact: Oscar or Banu on 9639 8620 or email hillsculutralfestival@gmail.com.

Hills Cultural Festival Poster

Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 May - Hills Relay for Life
Survivors walk from 9.30am.
Castle Hill Showground.

Relay For Life is a fun, outdoor and overnight fundraising event where teams of 10 to 15 people take turns to walk around a local oval. The event honours those whose lives have been touched by cancer.

Celebrate life and create hope by joining your friends, family, cancer survivors and their carers in the common goal of defeating cancer.

For more information click on the following link: The Hills Relay 2009

Sun 17 May - Jazz at the Pines
12.30pm - 4pm. Cost: Adults - $12, Concession - $10, Family - $25.
The Pines, 656a Old Northern Road, Dural. Bookings: 1300 884 881.

Sat 23 May - Hawkesbury Harvest Farmers & Fine Food Market - Rouse Hill
8am - 1pm. Free
Rouse Hill Town Centre, Market Square, Rouse Hill. Contact: 0406 237 877.

Sat 23 May - Autumn Bush Tucker Walk, Castle Hill
9.30am-11.30am and 1pm-3pm. Cost: Adults - $8.00, Children - $4.00, Family - $20.00.
Fred Caterson Reserve, Castle Hill (exact meeting place advised at time of booking). Bookings: 9634 3163.

Sun 24 May - Burraga Walk
Bookings essential. Time: 1.30pm-4pm. Cost: Adults - $8.00, Children - $4.00.
Bidjigal Reserve, West Pennant Hills (exact meeting location advised at time of booking). Bookings: 9634 3163.

Thurs 28 May - Biodiversity Surveying
Discover some of the unusual and threatened animal species that share your local environment. Community Environment Centre, cnr Annangrove Road and Currie Avenue, Annangrove. Contact: 9654 3571 (Thurs)

Sat 30 May - Waterfall Walk, Carlingford
Bookings essential. Time: 10am-12pm. Cost: Adults - $8.00, Children - $4.00, Family - $20.00.
Hunts Creek, Carlingford (exact meeting place advised at time of booking). Bookings: 9634 3163.

For more information on Council Events click on the following link to Council's website - Council Events.

For more information on what's happening in the Sydney Hills click on the following link to the Sydney Hills website. 

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Contact Council: 129 Showground Road Castle Hill NSW 2154 Ph: (02) 9843-0555 Fax: (02) 9843-0409
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